An appreciative, uncritical look at silent film comedies and thrillers from early in the century through the 1920s. It starts with a 1905 look at French comedy, goes through the 1910s with ...
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An appreciative, uncritical look at silent film comedies and thrillers from early in the century through the 1920s. It starts with a 1905 look at French comedy, goes through the 1910s with Sennett, Chaplin, and Fairbanks, and into the 1920s with Max Roach, Snub Pollard, Harry Langdon, Al St. John, Charlie Chase, and the teaming of Laurel and Hardy. Thrillers feature Houdini and serials, with special attention to Pearl White, Ruth Roland, and Monty Banks. The film often lets the silent pictures speak for themselves, running entire one-reelers or significant chunks of an old movie.Written by
This film makes extensive use of Chopin's "Tristesse" and Franz Von Suppe's "Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna". See more »
In the opening sequence, a filmed fight between the hero and the villain is supposedly projected in slow motion. Yet, the villain's coat moves in real time, indicating that the actors had staged the slow-motion effect. See more »
The crooks get collared. The hotel manager gets the loot. Arthur gets congratulated. Cupid gets Arthur's girlfriend Martha. And, oh my goodness, the lion gets Arthur.
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"Days of Thrills and Laughter" opens with what the narrator calls "the first double-feature title" in which the opening credits are shown on the right-hand side of the screen while an excerpt from the 1922 Snub Pollard comedy "The Movies" is displayed on the left.
When the credit for the film's composer-conductor appears, the narrator calls out, "Hold it!" and both sides of the frame freeze. "OK, bring up that name," intones the narrator, as "Jack Shaindlin" expands to nearly the full width of the frame. The narrator declares, "That's enough!," the name shrinks back to its original size, and the movie starts up again, with the narrator explaining, "Sorry, folks, it's in his contract."
At the end of the credits sequence, the movie freezes once again so producer-writer Robert Youngson's name can do a cartwheel while expanding to large size. To which the narrator exclaims, "What a showoff! Take Youngson down - all the way down!" as the name shrinks and disappears. See more »
Good for those not familiar with silents....fans of the style of film, on the other hand, might want to pass up on this one.
"Days of Thrills and Laughter" is a very odd film consisting of various comedy clips from the silent age. I say very odd because it's not at all exhaustive and the actors they chose to highlight really had no rhyme nor reason. So, for fans of early comedy, it's probably NOT a great film to watch. For the uninitiated, it's probably better.
If you were to pick the top three most famous and important silent comedians, you would certainly have Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton. Why, then does this film only have Chaplin clips along with those of inferior comedians such as the VERY obscure Arthur Stone as well as a comedy with Douglas Fairbanks which is more an adventure picture? Why feature a Houdini film when there was NOTHING comedic about it and when Houdini never was a big film star?! And, why feature Al St. John when he was mostly the sidekick for Fatty Arbuckle during the teens and 1920s?! No...there really is no logic to any of these choices. I think this is because Robert Youngson already made a few similar films and here he has given up being as educational and thorough as he was in "The Golden Age of Comedy" or "When Comedy Was King".
The bottom line is that this film is essentially a time-passer and NOT really for anyone wanting an education about silent comedies. Worth watching but I would try finding some of Youngson's other compilations instead.
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